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2015 Issue 1



Health and Wellness: Make it a Priority in 2015

Nanci Rogers, MSN, CRNA

The WSA has always strived to provide current, relative, and quality information for individuals with Williams syndrome and their families. Medical research, education, technologies, housing, and social issues continue to be at the forefront of our concerns.
The time has come to add Health and Wellness (excellent nutrition!) to our list. Several of you may recall our initial “small” steps along this path with my "Nuts about Nutrition" column in the newsletter. Beginning this year...

Continue reading on the WSA Blog



WSA Summer Camp Programs

The WSA Therapeutic and Music and Enrichment camps are re-locating to Oscoda, Michigan beginning this summer.  The new camp location is within YMCA Camp Nissocone on Lake Van Etten.  Oscoda is a beautiful summer tourist location on the east side of Michigan near Lake Huron.  Parents of teens who are looking for a place to vacation during their child’s camp week will not be disappointed.  There are many beautiful options up and down the east coast of the state and within just a few miles of our new camp location.
With the new location, the camp sessions for our youth and teen campers will include great new recreation options such as horseback riding, kayaking, gaga ball, lake swimming, tubing, and much more, in addition to our special “therapeutic experience” (for youth 6 – 12) and music programming (for teens+ - 13-20).  This year’s theme for therapeutic camp is “Down Under” (all of our camp activities will have an Australian flair).  The music theme for Music & Enrichment Camp is “Out of this World”.
For more information about the 2015 WSA camp programs and to register online, please visit our summer Camp page.
Scholarships are available for ANY summer camp program (WSA and others).  Online scholarship applications can be found on our summer Camp page at the link above.

Williams Syndrome Awareness 2015

Our continued efforts to increase WS awareness are off to a great start.  During the month of February, Williams syndrome was featured 12 times (4 each on Fox News Network, CNN and CNN Airport News) in 30 second informational videos.  Added to that, a 2 minute video on WS will be shown on the seat-back televisions in 9000 flights on American and Frontier Airlines during the months of February and March.  We are excited to have these wonderful opportunities to increase awareness of Williams syndrome.  Not traveling on American or Frontier this month?  You can view the 2 minute video interview here.  One easy way to personally increase WS awareness is to share the video with your email and Facebook contacts, with a note suggesting that they “take 2 minutes to learn more about Williams syndrome.” 
New walks and other awareness month activities for May are being added to the calendar daily.  If you’d like to see if there is an event scheduled near you, or help to increase awareness in your area and raise funding for WSA programs please check the WSA Calendar.
If you are interested in hosting an event in your area, please visit our Awareness Resources page for ideas on what you can do to help spread the word about Williams syndorme.

The ABLE Act

The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (“the ABLE Act”) was signed into law by President Obama on December 29, 2014. This law has been much anticipated in the disability community and has undergone many amendments and changes prior to its passing. Under this new law, states will have the option, beginning in 2015, to establish ABLE programs. These programs allow disabled residents to save in excess of $2,000 in an ABLE account (also referred to as a Medicaid Payback Account) for disability-related expenses without impacting eligibility for other government benefits. The ABLE account allows for tax free growth similar to a Section 529 educational account or a ROTH IRA. Any person can make non-tax deductible contributions into the account.  To learn more, download The ABLE Act – An Overview and ABLE Accounts: 10 Things You Must Know.

2014 Annual Report

Two Thousand Fourteen was a strong year for the WSA.  Through the national convention and regional educational conferences we were able to provide the latest educational strategies and medical treatments to 2000 parents “first hand” and countless others through mp3 session recordings and written resources.  

Awareness and fundraising activities surpassed expectations.  We were able to “spread the word” in new and far-reaching ways through the media, in addition to our local walks and events.  Fundraising success has insured our expectation to increase funding for scholarships and critical research studies.
Our success is your success.  Thank you for supporting the Williams Syndrome Association.